In the words of John Madden, in arguably his best movie role as himself, “You know, there’s a rule in sports, ‘Don’t do anything great if you can’t handle the congratulations.’”
It’s like Madden was peering into Miss Cleo’s crystal ball and looking straight at the 2014 football season. Nobody, not even the renowned Miss Cleo, could’ve predicted how many celebration fails would have taken place so early into the college and pro seasons.
Let’s celebrate the 5 best football celebration fails we’ve seen thus far.
1. Stephen Tulloch – Detroit Lions
September 21st, 2014, a day that will live in infamy. Stephen Tulloch was having a great day. His Lions were manhandling their arch nemesis, the Green Bay Packers and he had just sacked the inventor of the Discount Double-Check, Aaron Rodgers. Life was good. Stephen, in all his emotion, decided to pay homage to said Double-Check with a sack celebration emulating Aaron’s famous move. What sounded like a good idea in theory ended like a hot wing eating contest, painful and embarrassing. As he waved his hands across his midsection, Stephen’s knee buckled, causing the ACL to tear and his pride to shatter. Yes, friends, Stephen Tulloch tore his ACL making fun of Aaron Rodgers. Irony is great sometimes, huh?
2. Cam Heyward and Joey Porter – Pittsburgh Steelers
Let me preface this with a thought: Joey Porter was once one of the most feared LBs in the NFL. OK, now that we got that requisite JP respect out of the way, we can make our way to why it’s relevant. After yet another dominant defensive series against a lackluster Panthers offense, Pittsburgh DE Cam Heyward wanted to celebrate. As he ran to the sideline with more gusto than the mouse in Space Jam, he knew exactly who he wanted to celebrate with. Enter Joey Porter, longtime Steelers leader and resident emotional lightning rod.
Now, having retired only a couple of years ago, Joey still looks like a pro athlete, but I guess there’s some magic to wearing pounds on pounds on pounds of pads, because big ol’ Joey Porter was no match for the massive Heyward as the two bumped chests. Immediately upon impact, Joey flailed backwards like Jay Cutler getting sacked by Ndamukong Suh. Rest assured no Steeler will ever let Joey live this one down. Oh, and remember what I said about September 21st? This one happened on that same day. Shame.
3. Jim Schwartz and the Buffalo Bills Defense
The Buffalo Bills defense carried Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz off the field after they beat the Lions. In the regular season! This is the same Jim Schwartz who went after Jim Harbaugh after the Niners beat the Lions a few years ago, so it’s not like we expect class, but seriously? Carrying your defensive coordinator off the field after a regular season win? I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
4. Northwestern Students Storming the Field after Beating Wisconsin
Now, I went to NU and I bleed purple and white, but even I had to hide my head in shame after this one. It was the fifth game of the young NCAA season, and sure, Wisconsin was ranked, but really? I’m all for rallying around your team, and I’ll shamefully admit I was once part of an embarrassing NU field rush, but act like you’ve been there before. If you want the football world to start taking you seriously, then a winning attitude goes a long way. Also, it helps if you don’t let the opposing team’s fans commandeer more than half the stadium every home game. I still love you, Northwestern.
5. Syracuse PA Announcer Plays TD Horn after Dropped Pass
I literally just read about this one (how did I miss it this weekend?) and I could not stop laughing. John Madden would be so ashamed right now. I get it, it should have been an easy catch, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to tease the home team audience like that. There needs to be a new rule in place. Wait for the officials to signal a touchdown has been scored before you play the TD horn. So easy. And if there’s any doubt, wait until the official review has taken place. This is maybe one of my favorite celebration fails ever. Sorry, ‘Cuse.
Bonus: Golden Tate Fakes Jimmy Graham Goal Post Dunk
Golden Tate took end zone celebrations to the next level this past weekend with one of the funniest anti-celebrations I’ve ever seen. He basically gave the NFL a taste of its own medicine by pretending to go up for a goal post dunk just to return to the ground with the ball in his hand. Kudos to you, Golden Tate. Not only was your jacket at the ESPY’s epic, but your creativity is making football even more entertaining than it already is. Enjoy the video here.
I love a good football celebration, but I have to say, I might like the fails even more. Nothing’s funnier than when something so premeditated goes entirely awry and comes back to bite you. Keep planning out elaborate TD dances, NFLers! Keep rushing the field in unnecessary situations, nerds! And you stay classy, Jim Schwartz!